Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The insertion of a sound in the middle of a word, as in Middle English thunder from Old English thunor.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In grammar, the insertion of a letter or syllable in the middle of a word, as alituum for alitum.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Gram.) The insertion of a letter or a sound in the body of a word.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun phonetics, prosody The insertion of a phoneme, letter, or syllable into a word, usually to satisfy the phonological constraints of a language or poetic context.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the insertion of a vowel or consonant into a word to make its pronunciation easier

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Late Latin, from Greek, from epentithenai, to insert : ep-, epi-, epi- + en-, in; see en– + tithenai, to place; see dhē- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle of 16th century: via Late Latin, from Ancient Greek ἐπένθεσις (epenthesis), from ἐπεντίθημι (epentithēmi, "I insert"), from ἐπί (epi) + ἐντίθημι (entithēmi, "I put in"), from ἐν (en, "in") + τίθημι (tithēmi, "I put, place").

Examples

  • I notice that Mongolian also has a similar process of left-to-right schwa epenthesis however this seems to occur to resolve clustering in the coda not the onset.

    Phonotactic processes during Syncope in Pre-IE

  • I notice that Mongolian also has a similar process of left-to-right schwa epenthesis however this seems to occur to resolve clustering in the coda not the onset.

    Archive 2008-07-01

  • This epenthesis is seen elsewhere, as in Herecele where its Greek origin emphasizes that this phonetic process did indeed happen.

    Archive 2008-04-01

  • So... we see that offending verbs like these did not survive intact and yet were not resolved by metathesis or epenthesis.

    Pre-IE Syncope has an easter-egg surprise for you

  • So ideally you want to find a noun with a-epenthesis that will correspond in root with a verb, and see what happens?

    Phonotactic processes during Syncope in Pre-IE

  • In other words, epenthesis is likely to be unnecessary.

    I tripped over Pre-IE the other day

  • This epenthesis is seen elsewhere, as in Herecele where its Greek origin emphasizes that this phonetic process did indeed happen.

    Some random thoughts on Proto-Aegean languages

  • Unlike a totally unproven epenthesis, rules concerning sonorancy prove its absence in at least one case.

    I tripped over Pre-IE the other day

  • I might also be interested to find out that vowel insertion is widespread enough in the world's languages to have a name, epenthesis also called anaptyxis.

    Archive 2007-05-01

  • Maybe I could observe that epenthesis happens as a rule in English plural formations when the singular form of a word ends in an "s" sound; thus the plural of kiss is not kiss-s but kisses.

    Archive 2007-05-01

Comments

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  • an added put

    July 25, 2007